Review Guide (Yelp, Google, TripAdvisor, etc.)

This is the review guide and rules I have set around completing reviews on Yelp, Google, TripAdvisor, and the like. I link this page on my reviews to provide further explanation.

I do not change reviews. Once I complete a review, I do not change it. No amount of compensation, manipulation, or pleading will get me to change it. It’s a snapshot of the business at that point and time. What I will do is a follow-up review, if I ever return to the business. Messaging me to “give you a second chance” is fine, don’t expect a response. I’ll respond by either returning or not returning.

I’m fair. I use my real name, I post as if I’m speaking to the establishment and giving them feedback, be that positive or negative. Trying to flag my reviews as spam or a bot is futile. I’ve never had one removed/amended on any review platform.

How I use ratings. I rarely give five stars or outstanding ratings. If everything was rated outstanding, then “outstanding” would lose meaning. (see overuse of the word “awesome”) One star denotes that I will not return to your establishment. You’ve completely failed. [Never Again List]

Addressing the Chowdown Facebook group. I am not part of, nor am I influenced by the Chowdown Facebook group. It’s a gratuitous marketing tool, self-serving “attaboy” circle jerk to promote certain restaurants as “awesome” when there’s only a select few that deserve close to that designation. It does not allow even a hint of negativity in reviews or posts, it’s administrators / owners (restaurant owners promoting themselves) will permanently ban those in dissent. You should use objective reviews on legitimate review sites. I will call out businesses in reviews that are “riding the wave” of this culinary propaganda campaign when I encounter them.

I don’t name staff in reviews. It’s not really fair to call out staff by name, if it’s praise or a complaint, I raise that with the management of the establishment directly.

I escalate. When I have an issue in an establishment, I bring it up while I’m there. That’s when to address an issue. Once it’s in a review, it means the issue wasn’t addressed, addressed insufficiency, excused or dismissed – it’s basically too late to salvage anything. I also escalate issues of cleanliness, potential health code violations and the like, directly to the health department.